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Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

  • Meet the Maker: Michael and Wells of Rogue Industries

    We shine a light on great ideas and the people behind them. We tell their stories. In our product videos, Q&A’s, and podcasts, we try to uncover the inspiration, struggle, and ultimate success of that Maker. But the only true way to capture a story is to meet the subject in their environment.

    And so we are thrilled to announce a first in a new Maker profile video series: Rogue Industries.

     

    We started with a Maker close to home, literally. Rogue is a 90-minute drive from our office in Somerville, MA. Michael and Wells Lyons and the five-person crew behind these American-made front pocket wallets, set up shop in a renovated B&B Colonial Farmhouse in Standish, ME. 

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Jen Perry of Jelt

    Jen Perry lives by a simple phrase, “If not now, when?” It wasn’t a motivational poster that made it her mantra, it was facing that question with her life on the line. When she was afforded a second chance at life she didn’t think she’d get, Jen put that mantra into practice and started a business that encouraged societal change.

    On this episode of the Meet the Maker podcast, we chat with Jen about the experience that led her to start Jelt, how important it was to work with local organizations and bring manufacturing back to her community, and what continues to excite her about the business.

     

    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

  • Watch The Grommet Mentor Makers on Public TV Series Make48

    One of the things our community doesn’t usually get a chance to see is how members of The Grommet team guide, instruct, and mentor the Makers we work with as they bring their products to market. In 2017, our Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer Joanne Domeniconi and our Director of Discovery Ryan DeChance were invited to be a part of a new public television series, Make48, — which gives a sneak peek into how we work with inventors and entrepreneurs.


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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Sarah Collins of wonderbag

    In the Western world, wonderbag is an alternative to electric slow cookers that uses no fuel and no electricity. In the developing world, where women spend hours each day gathering firewood and tending to dangerous indoor cook fires, it serves as a catalyst out of poverty.

    Today, we speak with wonderbag Maker Sarah Collins about the events in her life that led her to care so deeply for this community and how she grew her rebellious spirit into a global movement. Then we'll get her advice on how we can all do our part by investing in each other.

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  • Meet The Maker Sheila Kemper of Livliga

     In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better. 

    Today we're catching up with Sheila Kemper Dietrich. Sheila's family had struggled with their weight for years. As the former executive director of Denver’s American Heart Association, she knew how important it was to stop super-sizing and start right-sizing their meals. So, she designed portion control plates to guide them and founded Livliga. 

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    It all started with my favorite measuring cups. I wanted to figure out a way to help me measure my food and see what specific serving sizes looked like as I served up and ate a meal. I wanted to see how I could create a design that would be attractive, subtle, yet exacting, so it would reflect the measurements from that measuring cup.

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    Walking. Fiddling. Talking. You have to give ideas room to grow and for problems to be solved. Sometimes that means taking a long walk to clear the brain and reboot. Other times I find, just like with solving a puzzle with puzzle pieces, it takes fiddling with a design from a variety of angles until the solution pops out. I am also someone who believes more brains make for better solutions so I enjoy sharing and talking things through until that creative block evaporates. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Michelle Silberman of ChocAmo

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    We recently caught up with Michelle Silberman from ChocAmo. Back in the 7th grade, Michelle  and her best friend had the idea to combine milk and cookies in one treat—cookie cups. Flash forward to today, and Michelle’s chocolate chip childhood dream is a tasty reality thanks to her college entrepreneurship course. Learn more about her journey below.

    Meet the Maker of ChoAmo

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    I've always been a lover of two things–family and incredible food. What started as a project in an Entrepreneurship Class at Drexel University has turned into a delicious obsession of sourcing the best ingredients and brainstorming infinite ways to bring THE perfect Cookie Cup to anyone and everyone who is a fan of the all-time classic snack of cookies and milk. Sound deliciously amazing? It is…worth every sip and every delectable bite!

    Coming from a first-generation household, Michelle’s passion for cooking delicious food that brings family and friends together is pure tradition; it's part of her soul. She found that no matter who was sitting at the table, as long as every dish is made with quality ingredients and love…great food has a magical way of bringing people together.

    For me, creating the trade secret Cookie Cup is more than just food innovation, it is a piece of my family merged with my love for inspiring connections, baked together and served up for sweets-lovers everywhere! 

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    We recently began to implement a weekly Cookie Cup Snack Time Brainstorming session with our ChocAmo Family (the team) every Monday at 3:00 p.m. This allows all members of the team to share their perspective and creative solutions while snacking on delicious treats. It is the perfect remedy for even the slightest trace of Monday blues, and allows everyone to build a creative synergy. 
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    Meet the Maker on The Grommet
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    What three personality  traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
     Adaptability - The ability to think creatively and adapt to what is happening in the business. This also goes hand in hand with problem solving.

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Tania Boler of Elvie

    Ever wonder how you exercise a muscle that’s vital to your health but impossible to see? On this episode of the Meet the Maker Podcast, Tania Boler, inventor of Elvie, is going to enlighten us all on how to get kegels of steel and why they're important.

    If you’re on a quest for a stronger core, better sex, postpartum healing, or bladder control, listen as Tania and I dive into the benefits of Elvie, the world's most personal physical trainer.

    Tania is also giving one lucky listener a free Elvie! See below for details.

     

    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

    WIN your own Elvie! 

    *UPDATE: Our randomly selected winner is Tracy. 

    TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post.

    *We will select one random commenter as a winner on 11-19-2017.
    *Winner must have US shipping address.

  • Meet the Maker: Jaeson Plon and Bradd Kern of Sea Bottle

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    We recently caught up with Jaeson Plon, who along with Bradd Kern, created a natural hand wash, Sea Bottle. After Jaeson, a surfer and diver, wanted to inspire us to be kinder to the oceans that sustain us. This feel-good, good-looking soap is beautiful and purposeful enough to become a permanent counter top fixture. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind Sea Bottle and how Jaeson and Bradd brought it to life.

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    We wanted to design something beautiful, of course, but also to inspire our customers to learn more about our passion for the ocean and mission to reduce and raise awareness for ocean plastic pollution. The coordinates on the Bottle point to the heart of the pacific gyre, and it's a great conversation starter.

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    We surf straight through them! Ha. No, it's definitely not always easy. But, surfing is actually a great metaphor. Just relax, and the way forward emerges.

    What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
    Better to have scars than regrets. Also, wear more sun block!  Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Lee Mallahan III of Tadpole

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    We recently caught up with Lee Mallahan III, the inventor of Tadpole tape cutter. He's sharing some advice he's learned along his entrepreneurial journey and giving us a glimpse at his next invention.

    Meet the Maker of Tadpole Tape Cutter

    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    I grew up on an island so I spent tons of time as a little boy building cities in the sand! I wanted to be an architect.

    What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
    Don't wait for the perfect time, just make sure things are right and go for your dreams. We are only here for a little while!

    Meet the Maker of Tadpole Tape Cutter

    What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
    If it is to be, it is up to me!  Meaning when you decide to jump all in on a project, from inception to making your first sale, you should be 100% the driving force to see it through at every level.

    What has surprised you most about starting a business? Or this biggest challenge?

    Big retail may want and like your product, BUT most are making decisions today for what will be on their shelves 8 months from now.  I say: See It, Buy It, and Sell It today!! They move a little slower.

    What has been the most rewarding part of starting a business?
    Creating jobs in America and in our community.  Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Bonnie Tyler of The Negg

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    Today we're catching up with Bonnie Tyler, the Maker behind The Negg. Bonnie invented a hard-boiled egg peeler after a frustrating experience peeling eggs. After some prototyping and research at her local library, she cracked a solution and her product was born. Hear more from Bonnie on what it's been like starting a business and what advice she has to share with other Makers just starting out.

    Meet the Maker Bonnie Taylor of The Negg. She shares what it's like starting a business and advice for other Makers just starting out.

    What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other Makers?
    To give one is impossible. There are many many pieces of advice. Things we've learned–take your pick. :)

    1.You can't go into this half-heartedly. Any invention needs your full attention. To think you can take it on as a part-time job would be a mistake. Only if you want to make a partially successful project.

    2. Other makers are out there who are eager to help you through the process. Talk to them.

    3. It's a big leap to actually follow through with an idea. Get your prototype, apply for a patent, and then show your invention to your family and friends and watch their reactions. We had that “aha” moment with The Negg. That feedback was invaluable and helped us take the leap.

    What other things do you love to make?
    An eagle on a par 5. Yes, I am a frustrated golfer. Talk about creating! Every time you hit an errant shot you have to create a plan for recovery. Golf is creation on steroids.

    Meet the Maker Bonnie Taylor of The Negg. She shares what it's like starting a business and advice for other Makers just starting out.

    What has surprised you most about starting a business?
    Manufacturing and selling product has so many pieces. It requires so much more than just the product. Instruction sheets, boxes, shipping boxes, customer service, and on and on. At times the learning curve is a vertical line. Continue Reading

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